Thursday, September 18, 2008
Construction begins on new medical school
Crews have started shifting dirt for the foundation of the $59 million building in Roanoke.
JARED SOARES The Roanoke Times
Construction crews work Wednesday at the site of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, a public-private partnership.
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Construction of the $59 million Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine began Wednesday as crews started the process for the building's foundation.
This is the first visible step of what is expected to be a nearly two-year construction process of a 154,000-square-foot building.
"It is our intention to have the building ready for the fall of 2010 in time for the medical students' arrival," said Eric Earnhart, a Carilion spokesman.
Construction crews spent Monday and Tuesday preparing the site, located at the corner of Reserve Avenue and South Jefferson Street in Roanoke, by putting up erosion control barriers, Earnhart said.
Wednesday was the first day dirt was moved.
Skanska USA Building Inc., which was awarded the $2.7 million foundation contract, received a building permit Sept. 5 for the foundation work, according to records with the city of Roanoke.
The permit is to drill aggregate piers and shallow foundations for concrete pile caps and grade beams.
The school is being built through a public-private partnership between Carilion Clinic and Virginia Tech. Taxpayers are footing the bill for the building through state capital funds. Carilion owns the land, which was part of a 2001 deal with the city to redevelop the area.
Should construction costs of the building exceed $59 million, Carilion has agreed to pay the additional cost.
The building will not only house the new medical school but will also house a new research institute.
About two-thirds of the building will be for the research institute and will have an intricate role in educating medical students.
Carilion and Virginia Tech will share the additional $70 million in start-up costs to outfit the new building with laboratory equipment and other needs, according to a memorandum of understanding between Carilion and Virginia Tech.